Storm may wreak havoc this weekend

Published 5:38 pm Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Fourth of July celebrations in Washington and Belhaven may be blown away by Tropical Storm Arthur moving up the East Coast this week.

Early projections of Arthur have the storm going north along the East Coast and arriving in eastern North Carolina by Friday morning at 8 a.m. The National Weather Service predicts the storm will be a hurricane by Friday.

Washington’s Fourth of July celebration gets started on Friday morning at 8 a.m. with the Farmer’s and Artisan’s Market. The day is scheduled to conclude with a light show and fireworks at dark.

The Belhaven 72nd annual Independence Day celebration begins today at 6 p.m. with the crowning of Young Miss Independence at the Wilkinson Center. The Belhaven fireworks show closes out the celebration at 9 p.m. on Friday.

“Tomorrow afternoon after lunch, if it continues to look like it’s going to, I plan to cancel everything, but the evening stuff,” said Beth Byrd, executive director for the Washington Harbor District Alliance. “We still plan on having Spare Change performance at 6 p.m. and the fireworks and light show.

“If it gets even worse on Friday, we will just have to cancel everything,” Byrd said.

In Washington, a car show, kid’s activities, corn hole tournament, farmers market and gospel show will be the first to be announced for cancellation, according to Byrd.

The Belhaven Fire Department, Belhaven Community Chamber of Commerce and the Town of Belhaven are putting together the final plan today.

“I went to a 10 a.m. meeting today and we’ll have a 10 a.m. tomorrow,” said Guinn Leverett, Belhaven’s town manager on Tuesday. “It’s a little premature, but we want the Fourth of July on the Fourth of July if at all possible.”

“Yesterday I went to a meeting and it was one thing and today was another,” said Debbie Stubberfield, Belhaven volunteer coordinator.

The City of Washington will make its final decision on the Fourth of July celebrations at the conclusion of a 4 p.m. meeting today.

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